homeless

Creative Commons via Flickr / Wicker Paradise (https://flic.kr/p/ecyRbQ)

UPDATE Oct. 22, 12 p.m.: The regulations passed by a four-one commission vote around 3:30 Wednesday morning. 

Adding to crackdowns on where homeless people in Fort Lauderdale can sleep, go to the bathroom, and store their belongings, the city is now attempting to regulate how outside organizations provide food to them.

Wilson Sayre

Vicki Mallette is wrapping up her first 90 days as the new executive director of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. She left her post as acting director of development, advocacy and communications for Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces to assume the  new position.

The Homeless Trust was founded in 1993, when there was a public call to deal with the thousands of men, women and children living on the streets, in shelters and in transitional housing across the county.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

A new national report found a general trend toward criminalizing the homeless, and criticized the laws of some areas in Florida. The report, published by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, looked at how municipalities treat the homeless.

It found more and more cities have banned activities like sleeping on sidewalks, sitting in public spaces or storing personal possessions outside.

Wilson Sayre

 

Almost 200 people now have a place to call home in an affordable housing development just opened in Little Havana.

In addition to a roof, kitchens and beds for low-income and formerly homeless people, Amistad’s 89 apartments offer supportive housing services:

“We do case management, we do employment and training services, we do life-skills training, we do parenting-skills trainings, we do activities with the kids,” says Stephanie Berman, president of Carrfour Supportive Housing.

Wilson Sayre

The Salvation Army of Broward County has opened the doors to a new facility that could help up to 45 people every night. But the cots at the Open Door Shelter are more about building trust than getting sleep.

Alyse Gossman is the volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army in Broward County.

Creative Commons / Flickr user Aaron Alexander

Life for panhandlers in South Florida is getting harder. Delray Beach may join several other South Florida cities in cracking down on the practice.

The city is not trying to outright ban panhandling, like it has been in some areas in Miami, but it is trying to legislate panhandling politeness.

The city is looking to add language to the municipal code defining what panhandling is and where it should be avoided. For example, it shouldn't happen within 15 feet of a sidewalk cafe or at bus stops.

Creative Commons / Flickr user Daniel Oines

Update: The Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed both ordinances on first reading. The second reading will most likely be scheduled for the next commission meeting on May, 6.

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How does a city strike a balance between the needs of the homeless and the needs of those around them? Those questions will be put to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission as they consider two provisions on the agenda at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

$30 Million To Miami-Dade Homeless Programs

Apr 15, 2014
Creative Commons via WikiCommons

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released its list of organizations that will receive funding through the Continuum of Care Program this year. But this year programs are getting 5 percent less money than usual.

The Continuum of Care Program gives money to homeless assistance programs like housing and counseling services. It also funds emergency services to keep people off the street in the first place.

The budget squeezing that happened last year is now coming down the pipe into communities this year.

Britto Meters Still Confuse Drivers, Passersby

Mar 17, 2014
Wilson Sayre

It’s a cool Saturday night and Anthony Rolle pulls his blue Infiniti into the parking lot at Joe’s Stone Crab on South Beach, where he’s headed for dinner. He gets out and drops a quarter into the meter in front of his space.

Rolle starts to look a little puzzled. The meter is painted bright yellow with hearts, flowers and cozy-looking houses. This is not a normal parking meter. It's not actually a parking meter at all.

It's Done: Changes To Pottinger Settlement Approved

Feb 28, 2014
Wilson Sayre

Protecting the rights of Miami's Homeless since 1998, Federal Judge Federico Moreno has approved changes to the Pottinger settlement. The revisions were reached through mediation between the city of Miami and the ACLU.

Moreno commented before giving his final ruling that this was a different type of class-action suit because it was not about money. Instead, the question at stake is "how do we help people also also help the community grow," he said.

Phillip Pessar/Flickr

02/27/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with an update on the plight of the homeless in Miami–Dade.  The federal Department of Health and Urban Development (HUD) have mandated that funded agencies eliminate chronic homelessness in 2015.  Is it possible?  We’ll speak with two board members of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.  And more . . .

Phillip Pessar/Flickr

In our If I Were Mayor interview with Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, we asked him a few questions about the state of homelessness in the area.

Wilson Sayre

After a night-long count a few weeks ago, Miami-Dade County has just released the newest numbers. In total, 4,156 homeless people live in Miami-Dade County. Eight-hundred and forty people are living on the street, about the same as previous counts.

But this census also tallies the number of homeless sleeping in shelters, in hotels and transitional housing. That number is 3,316, about 200 more than in August and 353 more than last year. Most of those people were in hotels or motels, placed there as part of a program designed for struggling families.

Creative Commons via Flickr user Andrew Brown

Behind closed doors on Wednesday, the Miami City Commission approved major changes to the Pottinger settlement.

The historic court agreement has protected the rights of Miami’s homeless since it first went into effect in 1998. The original Pottinger agreement protected what’s called "life sustaining activities" like sleeping on the street, lighting fires for cooking and urinating in public — all without being arrested.

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